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KDE Open Source News

Free Software Faces a Test With Qt 177

An anonymous reader writes with an article in TechRadar. From the article: "Thanks to Nokia's jump to Windows Phone 7, from the frying pan into the fire, its Free Software darling, the Qt toolkit, has been left living on vague promises and shell-shocked, hollow enthusiasm. Nokia has pledged some continued investment, bonuses for developers who stick with the platform and even a phone or two that might use it. But the truth is that Qt is deprecated, the project has stalled, and its future is uncertain."
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Free Software Faces a Test With Qt

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  • by byuu ( 1455609 ) on Tuesday May 31, 2011 @05:34PM (#36301992)
    I hate to come across as advertising, but for those worried about the possibility of any specific API going away ...

    I've found that most small to mid-sized GUI applications only really need the basics: windows, menus, buttons, check/radio boxes, list/tree views, sliders, scollbars, combo boxes, and something to render graphics (Direct3D/OpenGL/raw pixels) onto. It won't get you Photoshop or Quark Xpress, but that's enough for most CLI frontends, emulators, text/hex editors, office tools, etc.

    I put all my eggs in the Qt basket and got burned by a lot of platform-specific bugs. So I took all the core features and wrote a unified wrapper around all of the major toolkit APIs: pure Win32, GTK+ and Qt. In this way, there are no 4-10MB run-time library dependencies, the code is much simpler, and I feel my applications are more portable: the wrapper is so small one could port it to eg Haiku, Cocoa, etc in roughly one weekend. I can also target any platform (Win32, Win64, Linux, OS X), and any toolkit available on each, with the exact same codebase. Eg both Gnome and KDE users gets 100% native apps.

    Doesn't have a snazzy public name, but internally I call it phoenix, and it's available here [byuu.org], if anyone is interested. There are, of course, obvious downsides: if you want a complex GUI, you would have to add the higher-order, platform-specific (floating docks, grid views, tab bars, sheets) controls yourself. And it also targets C++0x, which is great for lambda callbacks, but bad for portability at the moment.
  • The other option (Score:2, Interesting)

    by greg1104 ( 461138 ) <gsmith@gregsmith.com> on Tuesday May 31, 2011 @05:34PM (#36301994) Homepage

    As opposed to GTK+, where the project is healthy, the toolkit project is changing rapidly, and GNOME's future is uncertain because there's a giant user backlash over the changes.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 31, 2011 @05:41PM (#36302064)

    I can only agree. Just take a look at all the (FOSS/non-FOSS) projects that currently use Qt (from wikipedia [wikimedia.org]):

    Qt is most notably used in Autodesk Maya, Dassault DraftSight, Google Earth, KDE, Adobe Photoshop Album, the European Space Agency, OPIE, Siemens, Volvo, Walt Disney Animation Studios, Skype, VLC media player, Samsung, Philips, Panasonic, VirtualBox and Mathematica.

    Maybe it will be developed by other people, but it's probably safe to say that it won't die so soon.

    PS: Skype uses Qt? Could be interesting to see what Microsoft will do about that...

"It takes all sorts of in & out-door schooling to get adapted to my kind of fooling" - R. Frost